Our strategy came from an insight that underpins the publication itself – “There is nothing more provocative than the truth” – and we applied it to three tasks:
1. Provoke the intellectually curious. Surprise them with tailored, provocative headlines that showcase The Economist’s wit and intelligence.
2. Demonstrate The Economist’s relevance. Speak to them about the topics they’ve shown an interest in – when they’re most interested.
3. Give them their own ‘Economist epiphany.’ Nudge them to read more targeted content so they experience their own ‘epiphany’ and subscribe.
We used The Economist’s own content to stop people in their tracks and make them want to find out more. We scoured recent editions for the most provocative insights, the most fresh and arresting views, which may run counter to common wisdom. We addressed topics far outside business and finance and, of course, we showcased The Economist’s characteristic dry wit, tailored to this new audience.
We had to be very efficient in our media use – only digital display could provide the global reach we needed – but we had to use it extremely effectively. We used the combined power of content, creativity and context to surprise people, change their minds and stimulate action.
We broke the campaign into two phases - an initial spike to deliver a first pool of prospects we could re-target in the future, while translating initial learnings to inform lower-level, always-on activity.